Benin + 8 more

Update No. 08: Côte d'Ivoire Situation

Situation Report
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• While people continued to flee the violence in Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Hamed Bakayoko, the Minister of the Interior from Mr. Ouattara’s government, announced the closure of the Ivorian border on 31 March.

• The Forces Républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI), loyal to president-elect Alassane Ouattara, obtained the surrender of the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité (FDS) loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who remains unwilling to cede power. Nevertheless, fighting continues in Abidjan as the FRCI attempt to capture Gbagbo.

• Following the cease-fire, an inter-agency mission was sent to Duékoué to assess the humanitarian situation, recommend a way forward, and initiate an urgent response to the most pressing needs of the population.

• The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, visited Grand Gedeh County (Liberia) and Duékoué (Cote d’Ivoire). In Duékoué, she stressed the need for physical protection for the affected population as well as the need for food, water, shelter, and sanitation. She stated that “there can be no peace and security in West Africa if there is no peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire. The social, economic, and humanitarian consequences of the Ivorian crisis will be overwhelming unless we give the country the support it needs.”

• Reports of looting and extra-judicial killings in Cote d’Ivoire demand an urgent need for security forces to cooperate to restore law and order immediately. As ethnic tensions are rising, UNHCR is advocating for the authorities to warn against actions that might fuel continued inter-ethnic violence.